— Will Aldam (@AldamWill) January 21, 2020
DANBURY — Not many schools dominate a sport the way Danbury has with wrestling, claiming the FCIAC title in 28 of the last 29 years and winning six consecutive state titles.
Danbury has been so dominant that at times it must look beyond the state lines to find elite competition.
For the 20th straight season Danbury wrestled Mount Anthony (Vermont) in an annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day matchup.
Danbury took down its out of state rival handily with a 49-21 victory Monday night, an impressive feat against a team that has won 31 consecutive Vermont state championships.
“It has probably been about 20 times now,” Danbury coach Rick Shook said. “I believe they have more state championships than any team in the country consecutively, so they are a very good team. They have been for a long time. They are the best team in Vermont, they are a good program, that’s why we wrestle them.”
Mount Anthony now leads the series 13-7 as Danbury has seen a recent shift in success having dominated two straight years (49-22 victory last year).
It took until 2005 for Danbury to defeat Mount Anthony for the first time. Since then Mount Anthony leads the series 8-6.
Danbury only dropped four of the 14 total matchups en route to the victory, recording six pins as a team as well.
Kai O’Dell (113), Tyler Johnson (126), Jesse Patton (152), Daniel Camacho (160), Tyrell Jones (182) and Dj Donovan (220) each had pins.
“We wrestled good,” Shook said. “There were a couple guys who wrestled really good. My 132-pounder I thought was great. They were shorthanded one guy but so was I. We were good today overall. We got pins where we needed them and we got some wins when we needed them.”
Matt Lucas won 4-1 by decision at 132 pounds.
After taking business against the top team in Vermont, the Hatters will look ahead to their next few matches.
“We have some tough duals coming up,” Shook said. “We have probably three of the best teams in Connecticut in Simsbury, Warde and Trumbull and we have Timberlane, New Hampshire, which is another one of the best teams in New England over the past 20 years.”
Despite the strong showing from his team, coach Shook sets the bar high for his championship caliber program and knows there is more work to be done.
“We are a work in progress,” Shook said. “We are not in shape still, we aren’t wrestling perfectly yet so we’ve got three to four weeks before postseason so I’ve got some work to do.”